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Publication numberUS3503084 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 31, 1970
Filing dateOct 18, 1968
Priority dateOct 18, 1968
Publication numberUS 3503084 A, US 3503084A, US-A-3503084, US3503084 A, US3503084A
InventorsJohn R Meinwieser
Original AssigneeBetter Sleep Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inflatable cushion
US 3503084 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 31, 1970 J. R. MEINWIESER 3,503,084


F] G. I

United States Patent 3,503,084 INFLATABLE CUSHION John R. Meinwieser, New Providence, N.J., assignor to Better Sleep Inc., Berkeley Heights, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Oct. 18, 1968, Ser. No. 779,293 Int. Cl. A61g 7/06 US. Cl. 349 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A generally wedge shaped inflated cushion relatively proportioned and graduated in size so that the part designed to carry the greatest body weight will support said weight higher than the part designed to carry the lesser body weight, although said parts are pneumatically interconnected to allow partial inflating and deflating or shifting of the content of said parts in response to a rocking action of the supported weight and also providing selfconforming of the cushion to the curvature of the body portion supported. The cushion is also characterized by a plurality of generally cylindrical inflated bulges of graduated diameters and/or lengths substantially parallel, normal and symmetrical to the longitudinal centerline of the cushion.

While the principles set forth have wide applications the illustration is that of a marital cushion.

Reference is made to patents: 3,235,892, Wm. M. Emery, Feb. 26, 1966; D. 197,397, Wm. M. Emery, Jan. 28, 1964; application No. 629,118, Wm. M. Emery; 3,115,647, Wm. M. Emery, Dec. 31, 1963; 3,276,047, Wm. M. Emery, Oct. 4, 1966.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION Inflatable mattresses customarily have their parallel cylindrical lobes disposed longitudinally and are uniform in size regardless of the probable disposition of the weight of various members of the user. They are rectangular and of uniform thickness. Up to now, the bulges in inflatable cushions have been made to fit the body or raise the head for comfort, etc., and those that actually supported the body like a seat cushion were relatively flat, such as 3,276,047.

In the first three examples cited, the inflatables do not support the full weight nor usually any weight of the contacting anatomy of the user because the cushions are not designed for horizontal use. No. 3,235,892 is generally rectangular in plan but has a slight bulge at the top largely for appearance. It is a float not designed as a cushion to support the body weight as a result of air compression since the body almost floats when immersed. D. 197,397 is tapered in plan but is made for vertical use as a bath pillow. The upper thicker part cushions the head, the lower part contacts the shoulders so that the thicker wide portion supports the lesser weight assuming it supports any weight at all. Only 3,115,647 is designed for horizontal use. Here the thicker more bulged ends of the inflated cones support the lower head and the thinner end supports the heavier shoulders. In all these examples the bulges which are of various shapes, tend to align with the longitudinal centerline in contradistinction to my present invention.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION According to the laws of physics in an air chamber, regardless of its shape, pressure is theoretically transmitted equally in all directions, so that one would assume that in a flexible, pneumatically interconnected inflatable the greatest weight would sink in the deepest,


assuming equal areas of said weights and that the lifting power of the cushion would vary directly as the area supporting it. In general, this may be true except that in an inflatable I have discovered that possibly because of the tension on the vinyl sheeting or restriction by it, greater lifting power results from a large diameter bulge than from a series of smaller diameter bulges totalling the same plan areas as the large bulge, and more lifting power results from two cylindrical bulges divided only by a gusset than two cylinders directly sealed of similar area.

In my present invention, I undertook to do the opposite or apparently the impossible, that is to provide inflatable means with its members pneumatically interconnected to raise the greater weight of the hips when combined with the weight of the flexed legs, to a height such as five inches and the lesser Weight of the lower back to a graduated lesser height terminating at a minimal height Where the middle of the back might rest directly on the mattress.

Said pneumatic interconnection was required to provide automatic variation of contour to conform with the shape of the hips and back and to allow for and follow the rocking motion of the hips resulting from an alternate straightening and curving of the back.

I uniquely met these conditions with a plurality of generally cylindrical inflated bulges disposed parallel to each other and normal to the longitudinal centerline of the cushion and then varying either the diameters and/ or the length of said cylinders from end to end and/0r side to side of the cushion resulting in a pneumatic cushion uniquely tapered in plan and/or in cross-section. The wider and/or thicker end of the cushion elevating the heavier hips and the narrower and/or thinner and supporting the back of the user.

My particular structure for the accomplishment of the solution of these problems constitute objects of my invention obvious from the structure specifically set forth in the following description, claims and drawings where- FIG. 1 is a plan view of my inflated cushion;

FIG. 2 is a similar view but uninflated and taken from the bottom (non-valve) side;

FIG. 3 is a side view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a section taken on line 44 which is the longitudinal centerline of the cushion; and

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3 of a modified construction.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a peripheral seal 10 of general trapezoidal shape in plan except the large end 11 recedes to form a distinctive notch 13 so the pillow Will not interfere with the proximity of the knees of the male.

The large end 12 is divided into two semi-oval or partially oval and somewhat cylindrical bulges 14 and 15 separated by a gusset 16 sealed at 17 and 17. The buttock of the user is cradled in the valley formed by gusset 16.

In FIG. 5 a direct seal 18 between a top sheet of plastic 20 and a bottom sheet 21, is substituted for gusset 16 and seals 17 and 17'.

FIG. 1 shows a valve through which the cushion may be inflated.

Double bar seal 26 joins directly sheets 21 and 20 and divides the cushion into two sections, the large section 12 which supports the hips or buttocks and the smaller thinner section which primarily supports the lower back. Spaces 27 and 27 between ends of seal 26 and the peripheral seal 10 allows pneumatically interconnection of large section 12 and small section 30 and allows air to pass therebetween when the back of the user undulates.

As shown particularly in FIG. 3, end 30 is divided into two ovals semi-oval or partially oval and somewhat cylindrical parallel and symmetrical bulges 31 and 32 by a gusset 36 sealed at 37 and 37'.

In FIG. 5 a direct seal 38 of sheets 20 and 21 is substituted for gusset 36. Air passages equivalent to 27 and 27' between the ends of gussets 16 and 36 and seals 18 and 37, and the peripheral seal are provided.

It will be noted that the sides of peripheral seal 10 taper symmetrically from the big end 12 toward the small end 30 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, also bulge 14 is of greater thickness or diameter than bulge 32 and the intermediate bulges 15 and 31 tend to graduate in size therebetween. Without departing from the spirit of my invention gussets 16 and 36 may be varied in height and relative position which would modify the relative thickness or diameters of the adjoining bulges.

The parallel cylindrical bulges 14, 15, 31 and 3 2 or their equivalents in FIG. 5 are normal or right angle to the longitudinal centerline 4-4 and provide a limited rolling action or resiliency which is at times advantageous, and does not seem to interfere with a rotary motion when the cushion is inflated soft.

Inflated bulges formed by heat sealing two sheets of plastic together tend to be either semi-oval, semi-spherical or substantially cylindrical. In the latter case the ends of the cylinders tend to be semi-spherical and the cylinders tend to be flattened on opposite sides. Where I refer to cylindrical, I include the foregoing and also the somewhat cylindrical shape that results when a gusset is used, the latter being the best all inclusive term I can find.

Equivalent bulges in FIG. 5 are indicated by numbers used in other views with a prime added.

Without departing from the spirit or intended structural scope of my invention, seals 18, 26, and 38 may extend to contact the peripheral seal 11 thereby forming four separate somewhat cylindrical bulges each having an air valve of its own.

Accordingly, I claim:

1. An inflatable cushion of heat sealed vinyl sheets, an intermediate transverse seal separating said cushion into two distinct sections and forming a higher end to maintain the elevation of the greater weight of the hips and to act substantially as a height adjustable fulcrum therefor, and a lower end section of lesser weight supporting capacity for the back, gusset means extending between said sheets of at least one section to limit the separation of said sheets when the cushion is inflated, and pneumatic interconnection between said sections so air may pass from one to the other, facilitating a rocking action of the users back and the hips because of size differential and the interchange of pneumatic forces therebetween.

2. A cushion as set forth in claim 1 wherein said transverse heat seal is a direct contact linear seal between the two sheets.

3. A cushion as set forth in claim 1 wherein said cushion is trapezoidal in plan with the width of its longest parallel end less than the distance between its ends, said end also being adjacent to said highest section and the lower section adjacent to the shorter parallel end.

4. A cushion as set forth in claim 2 wherein said cushion is trapezoidal in plan and the width of its longest parallel end is less than the distance between its ends, said end also being adjacent to said highest section and the lower section adjacent to the shorter parallel end.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,673,636 6/1928 Perry 5-350 3,112,956 12/ 1963 Schick et al 5-348 XR 3,115,647 12/1963 Emery 5-341 3,276,047 10/1966 Emery 5-349 3,308,489 3/1967 Winkler 5-349 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 300,806 11/1928 Great Britain.

BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner ANDREW M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 5-338

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1673636 *Jan 24, 1928Jun 12, 1928Perry George HoughCushion for seats and the like
US3112956 *Aug 30, 1961Dec 3, 1963Schick Melvin EdwardInflatable seat and back rest
US3115647 *Mar 5, 1962Dec 31, 1963Better Sleep Mfg CoCushions
US3276047 *Mar 8, 1965Oct 4, 1966William M EmeryTwin-rest seat cushion
US3308489 *Dec 21, 1964Mar 14, 1967Winkler IrmaCushion for resting legs high
GB300806A * Title not available
Referenced by
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US3848282 *Jan 18, 1973Nov 19, 1974E ViestursLight weight flotation mattress
US4807313 *Jul 10, 1987Feb 28, 1989Ryder International CorporationInflatable inclined mattress support system
US4964183 *Oct 18, 1988Oct 23, 1990Laforce Jr James WTanning tub
US4965899 *Apr 14, 1989Oct 30, 1990Okamoto Industries,Inc.Air cushion for chair and chair utilizing the air cushion
US5412822 *Oct 15, 1993May 9, 1995Kelly; Bryan J.Adjustable multi-compartment pneumatic support apparatus
US5642544 *Oct 10, 1995Jul 1, 1997Munoz; Rosario CastroHydraulic pillow
US5906416 *Nov 8, 1997May 25, 1999Teksource, LcAdjustable wheelchair back, related devices and adjustable wheelchair seat back cushion
US6589614 *Jul 2, 2001Jul 8, 2003Bmc PlayersCushioning device for an athletic shoe
US6671908 *Oct 26, 2001Jan 6, 2004The Boppy CompanyInflatable support pillow and methods
US6935273 *Oct 9, 2003Aug 30, 2005Advance Comfort Technology LlcBedding for livestock
US7052090 *Jan 15, 2003May 30, 2006Prospective Concepts AgAdaptive pneumatic seat and backrest cushions for vehicles and airplanes
US7334279 *Nov 9, 2005Feb 26, 2008Oprandi Arthur VMattress pad
US8161571 *Aug 18, 2010Apr 24, 2012Cathy BeaupainInflatable nursing bib
US8596717 *Sep 20, 2011Dec 3, 2013Gordon GlyckPosture trainer
US8756736 *Aug 29, 2013Jun 24, 2014Kelli L. MinsonInclined air mattress having internal air baffles and supports
US9144314 *May 27, 2013Sep 29, 2015Conghua LiMultifunctional posture seat
US9332735Mar 15, 2013May 10, 2016Advanced Comfort Technology, Inc.Animal bed having dual independent support chambers
US20040154104 *Dec 30, 2003Aug 12, 2004Susan BrownInflatable support pillow and methods for its use
US20050076855 *Oct 9, 2003Apr 14, 2005Throndsen Dean R.Bedding for livestock
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US20070101505 *Nov 9, 2005May 10, 2007Oprandi Arthur VMattress pad
US20110203053 *Nov 4, 2009Aug 25, 2011Mulliez ThaddeeInflatable cell for anti-eschar mattresses
US20120112506 *Sep 20, 2011May 10, 2012Gordon GlyckPosture Trainer
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CN100430263CApr 13, 2006Nov 5, 2008福特环球技术公司Vehicle seat
DE2601939A1 *Jan 20, 1976Jul 21, 1977Friedrich WolffUltra-violet lamp for personal use - has a yielding base formed by welded polyethylene films defining an air cushion
WO1998029010A1 *Nov 3, 1997Jul 9, 1998Graebe Robert HMotorcycle seat cushion
U.S. Classification5/630, 5/655.3, 5/929
International ClassificationA47C27/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47C27/081, Y10S5/929
European ClassificationA47C27/08A